Honest Conversations: New Believer
A lot of the CCU student body comes from a Christian background. If that is the case for you, you are so blessed! However, not everyone had a Christian upbringing. There are students here at CCU who recently came to Christ.
Regardless of our upbringing, we are all at different places in our walks with Christ. And I’ve recently been reminded that this affects how we approach and understand the academics here at CCU. To gain a better perspective, I interviewed a new student who wishes to remain anonymous. Not only are they new to CCU’s faith-based learning style, but they are also newer in their faith. This student accepted Christ a year ago and began looking for a Christian education during their senior year of high school. They landed at CCU. Now that the first semester is ending, I thought it would be the perfect time to interview them about their experience.
Academics have been the most difficult part. Why? “Because of assumptions.” There were many cases where professors would mention a Bible story, character, or even a book without explaining the context. Or, the professor would make a point and then say, “Which we know from [insert story, character, or book].” There were also times when there’d be a question that required knowledge of a specific Bible character. The student told me about a specific time during the first few weeks of classes: “We were talking about the Old Testament and the professor was talking about the different covenants. He described the conditions of one covenant and then asked, ‘which was the…’ and the other students answered the question pretty quickly.” After this happened, the student became self-conscious. They also remembered several times when the professor would tell everyone to open their Bibles to a specific passage, “I get confused on the order of the books of the Bible. And honestly, I felt embarrassed, because people would notice that it took me longer to find the passage.” Throughout the semester, the student felt pressured to catch up with everyone else. In a twisted way, it motivated them to learn as much as possible but in a short amount of time. For the first half of the semester, they felt like they were rushing their faith.
Thankfully, the second half of the semester was a turning point, all thanks to their new college friends. Socializing was never the student’s strong suit, but they found people who were more than willing to help. The friends would study with them and explain the different stories, characters, and concepts. “Whenever I didn’t know what book to look in to find answers, they would point me in the right direction and guide me through it.” Now, the student and their friends have study sessions. And, on the rare occasions when they didn’t have homework, they would still meet to have a Bible study. The student found it easier to learn from discussions in a more personal environment with friends.
After talking with the student, I realized that it’s easy to feel like you need to catch up, but it’s even easier to get caught up in the comparison. As believers, there are a lot of things going against us in the world, don’t make other believers one of those things. God wants us to have people to learn from and learn with. So, just because you’re new in your faith, that doesn’t mean you’re “behind” in your walk with Christ.